This put me in mind of a cinematic sequel-screamer from 1977 that did feel like a setup. This movie ended with some froggy-voiced dude shot off into space and, as I left the theater, unimpressed, I rolled my eyes and said to my friend: "Sequel!" The movie was Star Wars, which goes to show I know a sequel-screamer when I see it.
More recently, I read an interesting offhand comparison between the endings of 1960s comedies such as The Italian Job and their remakes. The 1969 version left the thieves teetering on a precipice, the outcome of their heist in doubt. The 2003 remake transferred the action to the United States and turned the story into an orgy of greed and wish fulfillment: Everyone gets what he or she wants, with no hard choices about whether to go after the gold if it might mean sending the thieves over the cliff.
And now, gentle readers, I invite you to join me and turn your minds to last things. What endings of books or movies screamed sequel!!! to you? Did the endings work? More generally, tell me about your favorite endings or ones you liked less well.
© Peter Rozovsky 2008